TWS headphones (acronym for “fully wireless stereo”) were once exclusive items, with Apple’s AirPods. Today, there is already a huge variety of models and prices in Brazil. Soon, the category will have one more representative: the Huawei Freebuds SE.
The Chinese company wants to prove that it is possible to create an “input” headset (a little cheaper), but with features normally seen in more expensive rivals.
At the time of publishing this review, the brand had not yet informed an official price or launch date in the Brazilian market, which is expected to take place at the end of September. In some retailers and marketplaces, however, Freebuds SE can already be found for values close to R$300.
On the other hand, the second half of the promise is reasonably fulfilled. I tested the headphones and they perform well in many ways.
Fit in and relax!
TWS headphones are a “love it or hate it” type. All because of its main feature: they are two small pieces, which are fitted separately in each ear.
Some love the freedom this provides, while others live with the eternal feeling that they’re going to fall at any moment (extra panic if you’re near a manhole, railing, or porch.)
I confess that I already fit into both categories: I was skeptical, but I was totally won over when I started using a model like this.
So getting used to Freebuds was simple. It adapts easily to the consumer’s ear canal, offering three ear tips of different sizes, which can be easily replaced (something that other cheaper models do not include).
If you’re new to this type of accessory, the tip to seal the ear input well is to fit the headphones (any brand) facing backwards and then rotate them so that the longer end is down.
This way, it blocks out outside sound better (I’ll get to that in a moment) and it’s also tight enough to give you confidence. I’ve walked, jumped and moved abruptly, and he didn’t even fall—although some of these movements made him feel a little loose.
In addition, Freebuds was comfortable in the ear. Without burrs or any straighter cut, it will hardly hurt your ear.
Easy to pair…
Before putting it in the ear, however, you need to pair it. Depending on the model, it can be a boring step. But it was ridiculously simple with Freebuds: I opened the case and immediately my phone (an iPhone) recognized the accessory.
Merit of Bluetooth 5.2, which consumes less energy and also maintains a more stable connection (I proved it in practice: I left the cell phone separate from the headphones, with several walls in the way, and the sound rolled out just fine).
Speaking of power, Huawei claims that the headphones have a battery for 6 uninterrupted hours when they are out of the case. And the case itself accumulates enough charge to recharge them and guarantee a total of 24 hours of autonomy. As long as you remember to power the case, you’re unlikely to get caught without a charge in your headphones.
In the most basic usage, Freebuds does not require any app to configure. It is possible, however, to download a Huawei application that not only updates the firmware but also allows you to program the functions accessed by the touch system.
…but not so easy to control.
The touch system, by the way, was one of the low points. The idea is great and common in more expensive models: controlling functions such as pausing, advancing and rewinding the music just by touching the headphones while they are in the ear.
It didn’t work so well during my test. It was difficult to find the exact spot where they needed to be touched. In the end, it was faster to just pick up the phone and pause the music “by hand”. (It also automatically if you take off one of the headphones – a very useful innovation).
Other device features performed better. Noise canceling on calls, for example, made it possible to hear well who was on the other end of the line, without having to resort to higher volumes. And the other person also understood me well, because the built-in microphone is of great quality.
sound only to the extent
In audio, the Huawei Freebuds SE doesn’t shine, but it doesn’t compromise either. Its fixed equalization favors the mid-range frequencies. The bass isn’t muted, but if you’re expecting that stronger beat in the song, you might be disappointed.
The solution wouldn’t even be difficult: include an equalization control in the app. Without it, the phone tries to adapt to the most varied musical styles. It even succeeds, but on the other hand it doesn’t excel in any specific genre.
It remains now to know how much Huawei will sell the Freebuds SE in Brazil. Depending on the price (especially if it is lower than that practiced by independent retailers), it can be consolidated as an interesting option for those who want a good quality TWS without spending so much.